ELLSWORTH — Hold on to your hats.
Icy weather notwithstanding, the release last week of the Maine Lobster Boat Racing Association calendar poster is an absolute sign that summer is just around the corner.
The poster features a striking photo of big, diesel-powered boats thundering up Moosabec Reach during last year’s Jonesport/Beals Island Lobster Boat Races with Winter Harbor fisherman Billy Bob Faulkingaham’s 51 front and center, leading the Class M pack.
This year’s calendar includes 11 events, with the season bookended by June 16 racing in Boothbay Harbor and an Aug. 19 finale in Portland.
In between, the fleet will race three more times in June — at Rockland on June 17, at Bass Harbor on June 24 and on Moosabec Reach on June 30.
Traditionally, the Jonesport-Beals Island races have been a feature of the July Fourth celebration. With the holiday on Wednesday this year, though, a lot of boats would likely have stayed at home rather than possibly lose two days of fishing — racing and traveling to the races and back home — in the middle of the week.
The action moves to Stonington on July 8 then, after a two-week break, racing moves to the westward with events at Friendship on July 22 and Harpswell on July 29.
The 54th annual Winter Harbor Lobster Festival is on the schedule for Saturday, Aug. 11, and, with it, the Winter Harbor Lobster Boat Races. The next day, much of the fleetl will move to Pemaquid Point for the annual Merritt Bracket event.
The season will wrap up on weekend of Aug. 18 and 19 with racing at Long Island in Casco Bay on Saturday and in Portland Harbor on Sunday.